Freaky comes to Blu-Ray on February 9th, 2021 courtesy of Blumhouse and Universal. On this film, co-writer/director Christopher Landon somehow manages to improve upon the already excellent blend of horror, comedy, and popular movie setups he established with the fantastic Happy Death Day. Between its clever and downright hilarious script, its solid (and often hilarious) performances, and its healthy helping of horror tropes, viewers are going to have a great time watching Freaky.
Just like how Happy Death Day used the Groundhog Day formula of a person reliving the same day to establish a comedy/horror scenario, Freaky uses the classic “body swap” trope as its foundation. The film’s original working title, Freaky Friday the 13th tells you all you need to know about the setup for the film, but the fact that a teenage girl finds herself trapped in the body of a grizzled serial killer means that audiences will soon find themselves in uncharted narrative territory. This surreal situation allows for tons of hysterical bits that make Freaky fun and original throughout.
What’s even more impressive is that Landon finds moments in the film to pull in genuine horror thrills to balance all of that humor. There are segments of the movie which wouldn’t be out of place in any classic slasher film, and Landon pulls no punches during these gory moments. The R rating allows him more freedom to venture into this territory than he had with the PG-13 Happy Death Day, and the additional freedom on content allows for a stronger movie. This even works during moments of comedy, such as a standout moment where the protagonist first awakens in the body of the killer and finds herself in his lair which pulls no punches with its disturbing decorations. Viewers will be creeped out one moment, laughing wildly the next moment, and then doing both of those things simultaneously in the following moment!
The supporting cast of Freaky all add to the charm of the film, but the movie wisely focuses on its two leads, Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, with magnetic effect. Vaughn is no stranger to comedic performances, and his work in Freaky is some of his funniest in years. What’s even more impressive is how he is so easily able to slip into the role of the killer with such aplomb. I couldn’t believe how closely his body type and mannerisms resembled those of Jason, Michael Myers, and any other knife wielding maniacs, and I couldn’t help but think that Freaky is some kind of apology for the 1998 remake of Psycho. Vaughn shines even brighter as Millie. This guy really sells the body movements, awkwardness, and anxiety that would come with being a teenage girl trapped in his body, and many of these moments are the highlights of the movie. Newton does the heavy lifting with establishing Millie’s character at the beginning of the movie, and Vaughn carries the baton in such a way that it is easy to believe her persona is inside of his body. The same can be said about Newton’s moments when her character is harboring the spirit of the Blissfield Butcher. Before long she is stalking the halls and firing off disturbing glances like she’d been doing it for decades. The film clearly feels like the result of a stellar collaboration between Vaugn and Newton in establishing the characters and nailing their nuances. Each of the leads has so much fun with their roles that it is a pleasure to watch their bloody journey.
Freaky is a horror/comedy film that lives up to the high watermarks of both genres like no other. The film is creative and fun, and viewers won’t help but want to think of all of the clever ways Landon can bring its two leads back in the inevitable sequel.